Chandra Alexandre, Ph.D. (Executive Director) is an Inner Council member and the Founder of SHARANYA, serving as the President and Executive Director. She is Rashani (Priestess) and offers worship ceremonies regularly in community. She also conducts spiritual counseling sessions in the Bay Area for those interested in furthering their own personal growth and development.
Chandra received diksha (initiation) into the Shakta tradition at a Kali temple in Puri, India from Shyam Sundar Dash, a Priest of Kali. Her most recent connection to her spiritual ancestors occurred in Assam at Kamakhya Mandir during the festival of the goddess' menstruation, called Ambubachi. This diksha was into a non-dualistic Shaivite tradition.
Chandra is a graduate of the Women's Spirituality Master's Program, a doctorate holder in Philosophy & Religion from The California Institute of Integral Studies with a concentration in Asian & Comparative Studies (Hinduism), and additionally holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Wisdom University in Oakland. Her dissertation from CIIS, titled Through Vulture's Eye-With Peacock's Tail: A Western (Eco)Feminist Engagement with Kali and The Black Madonna as Antinomian Agents of Transformation in a Patriarchal World, is currently available. Chandra also holds an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio School of Management. She teaches on the Dark Goddess and Divine Female regularly, serving as Adjunct Faculty as well as Adjunct Research Faculty at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto.
Chandra is an active voice in Women's Sahayog in Kolkata (Calcutta), and since 1998, a yearly visitor to the Indian states of Assam, Orissa and West Bengal where she participates in lectures and project work as well as scholarly research. She is deeply committed to the work of alliance building among spiritual communities and education to eradicate erroneous beliefs about South Asia and its religious faiths. A long-time practitioner and Priestess of The Craft, Chandra received her initial initiation into women's mysteries from her grandmother, a lineage carrier in the Old Tradition. A native of New York, Chandra was also a founding member of New Moon-New York and the first Editor of Our Pagan Times.
Thibaut Punyadeha Hourteillan, M.S. (Business Director)
Caitlin Powell (Bhagavati) (Outreach & Communications Director)
has been a member of SHARANYA since 2003 and was initiated into the Sha'can tradition after studying with Daughters of Kali for a year and a day.
As Outreach & Communications Director, Caitlin is responsible for press releases, advertising and event promotion, as well as for developing relationships and encouraging discourse with local business owners. She also helps orchestrate events and is present at all SHARANYA fundraisers, helping ensure their success. As a community leader, Caitlin helps welcome new members and maintains SHARANYA's web presence on listservers and appropriate Bay Area forums, updating various websites with current information and event schedules.